Disturbances disrupt ecological patterns and processes and their effects continue for some time, often until the next disturbance adds its influence. Habitats can therefore be seen as being in a perpetual state of response to the most recent disturbance. Temporal change occurs at many scales, from short-term fluctuation of soil microbe populations to millennial responses to declining soil nutrients following, for example, the formation of fertile substrates by wind-blown deposits or a volcanic eruption. Succession is the study of temporal change in communities following a disturbance, typically studied at the temporal scale that corresponds to one to ten times the life span of the organisms of interest. This chapter focuses on successional change in response to disturbances. It first explores the rich body of theory about succession. It then considers various methods, followed by details about establishment and persistence of plants on newly disturbed surfaces. Species interactions among established populations, successional trajectories, and applications of successional knowledge are also examined.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.